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Official Schiit Vali 2 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by inseconds99, Dec 11, 2015.
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  1. floodbit
    Hey Vali 2 friends. So i just got my Vali 2 and am very intrigued by the whole 6sn7 adapter fun. So i was looking at heater currents and all that, but I admit my knowledge in Tube datasheets is lacking. So I'm asking here. Would it be possible to us 6v6 tubes on the 6sn7 adapter, as they do use the same socket type, I just don't know about the Pins. Argh so confused.
  2. kmp14
    I received my Vali 2 recently, and so far I have not been happy with it. I was really hoping to get that warmer tube sound from the Vali 2, and I am experiencing the complete opposite. This is my first foray into a dedicated headphone amp and into tube gear.  I found the stock tube to be shrill, harsh, and grainy in the high frequencies.  I let it burn in for several hours, and it seemed to be softening up a bit, but in the meantime I ordered up a couple tubes recommended on this thread.  I received a Philips PCC88 yesterday and fired it up.  Even with the new tube I still felt the high freqs were very shrill and hot.  I let it burn in for several hours, but I am still hearing the same thing.  I realize I need to let it run for more time, but I am wondering 2 things:  1.  Is the general character of the Vali 2 to emphasize high freqs?  2. Could something be wrong with mine?
    I also ordered up a NOS E88CC Tesla tube, but it is coming from overseas and will take a while to get here.
    When I compare the sound of the Vali 2 to, of all things, my AQ Dragonfly Red (which some say emphasizes high freqs), I find the DFR to have more low-mid body, and smoother highs.
    I am running the Vali 2 as follows:  Roon --> Raspberry Pi -->Hifiberry DAC+ --> Beyerdynamic AK T5p.  I have also been running my Sony MDV-V6s.
    What am I missing?  I still have time to return the Vali 2 under the 15 day trial.  What to do....
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  3. Jacobh
    Unless you're hearing audible distortion, humming, or something else like that I doubt it's defective.  The Vali 2 is a hybrid amp, and Schiit seems to tune things towards the neutral/brighter side so it's entirely possible it's an inherently brighter amp than the Dragon Fly Red (which I've never heard).  FWIW, Headfonia described the Red as a "warm" sounding amp, so the Vali might not be bright in general, but still bright in comparison to the DFR. Sound is pretty individual though, so it's hard to go by other people's descriptions unless you've heard their opinions about a lot of equipment and find it consistent with your own.
    I actually just picked up a used Vali 2, but I've only listened a few hours with one of the stock tubes.  It's not enough time to make any real judgments and I didn't do any real A/Bing, but if there is any extra warmth in the Vali (in my setup) it's more in the upper mids.  I do have another hybrid (X-Can V2) and while I've heard differences between tubes, I never found changing tubes to have a huge impact on the overall balance of the sound.  The Vali is obviously a different amp, but I think general consensus for hybrid amps is that the circuit drives the fundamental sound signature and the tubes add some flavor to it.  
    I'd probably give it a few more days, let the tubes get some time on them, and see if you like the sound any better.  If you still don't like it, take advantage of the return period and pay the restocking fee.  You could always keep it longer if you want to give it more of a chance and try selling it as well (they seem to hold value pretty decently, so you probably won't lose much more than the restocking fee that way - particularly if you throw in some of your extra tubes).
    kmp14 likes this.
  4. kmp14

    Great advice. Thanks!
  5. Indigo Bob
    I was curious about the warmth of the sound with regards to tube warmth for the Vali 2...
    I understand that it is neutral and have listened to it briefly my self and was impressed with the clarity....
    But I was wondering if tube rolling has an impact on the sound that is similar to having the added tube warmth, or does it being a hybrid limit this ability to adde the extra tube warmth onto the sound by tube rolling?
  6. r2muchstuff
    To me, tubes can change the Vale 2 from mellow to harsh with a lot of differences in between.
    JMTC & IMHO,
  7. Jacobh
    It's hard to know exactly what you mean by tube warmth because there are warm solid state amps and bright tube amps.  I'm sure some people would say otherwise, but in my experience changing tubes in a hybrid amp doesn't dramatically alter the sound (maybe it effects that last 5-10%).   To some people that last 5-10% is a bit deal and to others it's subtle.  
    If you've heard the Vali 2 already you should have a good idea of the general sound.  While different tubes might make it slightly warmer, improve instrument separation  a bit, or add some more sense of space, I personally wouldn't expect miracles.  It's also nearly impossible to really A/B test a tube amp (unless you have two of them).  I've only tried two tubes in my Vali 2 (stock and a JAN Phillips 6922 with green label) and I would say the Phillips had a slightly more "open" sound in that instruments felt a little better defined, but neither was what I would call warmer than the other.  
    So I think the answer to your question is a qualified yes.  If you are really looking for a "tubey" sound, the Vali 2 might not be your best option.  I have heard that the Little Dot MKI is a hybrid that has a sound more traditionally associated with tubes, but I've never listened to one.  
  8. r2muchstuff
    But then so can headphones :wink:
  9. Indigo Bob
    I think the lack of definitiveness does answer the question thankyou...  Have any of you guys tested the vali 2 as well as the valhalla 2 and possibly provide some comparison?
    I will ask the Valhalla 2 thread as well...
  10. RickB

    In my experience, a 6CG7EH made the Vali 2 sound the warmest I've heard it. It was still pretty neutral, though.
  11. Indigo Bob

    I was really impressed with the clarity of teh Schiit amps, but I just love that tube sound...  I listened to the Valhalla 2 for a short single session and the clarity was wonderful, but it did lack that "tubey sound" I am fond of.
    The prices and values are absolutely wonderful, and I was hoping to use them to pursuit this Tubey sound, but I fear it may be a little challenging to do so while keeping the spending as low as possible.
  12. winders

    I have some really great sounding tubes for the Vali 2. Check out my signature.
    In some ways I wish I still had my Vali 2 as tube rolling is so much easier and cheaper with it! 
  13. r2muchstuff
    Two things:
    I remember somewhere it was stated that Schiit tube amps - "Are not your Daddy's ( or Grandaddy's ) tube amps".
    The words we use to describe the sound of DACs, Amps, Headphones, Tubes or what not, generally instill a greater sense of difference than reality presents.
    I know my words do :wink:
  14. winders

    I read the opposite. Many less expensive amps that have tubes don't supply them much power and they are little more than window dressing. Schiit supply the tubes with power and they have a real impact on the sound generated. With my Vali 2 I noticed quite a bit of difference in the sound when using different tubes. In my tube rolling adventures, I have discovered that prefer a clean and tight sound rather than a warm sound. This is why I prefer the Germans tubes to the Heerlen tubes.
  15. r2muchstuff

    The quote, I think, refered to the clarity of the Schiit tube amps, so we agree.
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